Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Resource Round-Up: July 30, 2013

Last week's resources centered on mentors and mentees.  In a similar vein, today's resources focus on leadership:

1) Top 10 Things Geat Leaders Do
*Not related to education, but still applies

2) What Leaders Do:  Five Actions that Make a Difference
*From the Education Group

3) 50 Education Leaders Worth Following on Twitter
*An interesting list

4) The Anatomy of Leaders
*Again, not related to education specifically, but it still applies

What do you think are the most important qualities in a leader?

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Practice Proper Pencil Grip

I saw this cute guy on Pinterest:

What a fun way to help practice proper pencil grip!

If you'd like to purchase him you can find them here: National Autism Resources.  I suspect, however, that this could turn into a fun craft project with an old sock, some googly eyes, and glue.  Having students make their own "Writing Buddy" could build a sense of ownership within students, and it might make them more likely to use the little helper.

If your students need help with handwriting, I do have Handwriting RTI packets available in Print, D'Nealian, and Cursive

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Education Spending and Performance Across 12 Countries

Here is an interesting infograph from USC:

It gives a clear visual of the fact that while the US spends the most per student, our results quickly fall off the mark.  I feel like people often look at this and then "blame the teacher."  You hear things like "teachers get paid too much for doing too little," or "Yeah, I'd like a three month paid vacation, too!" and most often, "Cut education spending!"

One important thing missing from this infograph, however, is how and where that money is spent.  I would find this much more interesting if it provided a breakdown WHERE that money is spent in each country and then relate that to student outcomes.  That would be a much better indicator of how we could make policy changes for the better.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Resource Round-Up: July 23, 2013

Today's Resource Round-Up centers on mentoring.

Whether it is formal or informal, mentoring is an important relationship that helps foster and build more effect teaching practices.  In my experiences, I learn just as much (if not more) from being the mentor rather than being the mentee. 

Here are a few resources I found that can help you mentor more effectively or if you're a mentee, help you better understand what to expect from your mentor.

1) The Good Mentor from ACSD
*I don't love the title of the article, but it provides a decent list of important qualities a mentor should have.

2) 27 Characteristics of Highly Effective Teachers from An Ethical Island
*A good reminder for both mentors and mentees on what steps you can be taking to improve yourself.

3) 27 Tips on Mentoring New Teachers again from An Ethical Island
*A nice infograph for those visual people

What is your best piece of advice about mentoring?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Reading is Awesome

I love to read.

I don't think that statement will shock you.  Reading is amazing.  It can transport you to different worlds, give you insight into different lives and perspectives, fill you with interesting knowledge and information... the list goes on an on. 
She's really excited about the news!

Well, reading gets even more amazing.  A study published in Neurology, finds that reading helps delay cognitive decline.  Yup!  Reading helps your brain stay fit as you age.

Here is the part I found most interesting: "Researchers examined the brains of 294 patients post-mortem and found a slower rate of decline in patients who reported more early-life and late-life cognitive activity, such as reading, writing and playing games" (from the Atlantic Wire's summary of the study.)

Did you catch that?  Early-life and late-life cognitive activity, like reading, slows the rate of decline.  Early- and late-life!  So here is yet another way that having our kiddos and students challenge their minds and exercise their brains with reading will help them later in life.

Reading is awesome!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Reflective Questions for Responding to Common Core Texts

Check out this helpful chart from TeachThought

I can see this chart being helpful as students create their own questions to ask themselves, ask others, or respond to in writing. 

Having students create their own questions is a critical thinking task in itself.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Alastair Moock & His Daughter Clio

Using my NPR app I often explore various NPR stations from around the country.  (I do love my local KUFM, but it cuts to music at 9:00 am.)  Many stations are similar, but one that stands out is WBUR in Boston.  They have a pretty darn good line-up, and Thursday they brought this story: Alastair Moock Shares 'Songs For The World's Bravest Kids'

When Moock's daughter Clio was diagnosed with Leukemia, he began writing songs with her about her experience.  A few of these songs are highlighted in the NPR interview linked above.  The songs are upbeat but honest.  They range in topic from baldness, to fighting cancer, to jealousy.  His album can be found here: Singing Our Way Through: Songs For the Bravest Kids

If you know anyone who is going through an experience like this, I highly recommend giving his music a listen. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Freebie: Digraphs, Blends, and Silent Letter Charts

Today's Friday Freebie is: Digraphs, Blends, and Silent Letter Charts.

You can use them as posters, in writer's notebooks, or as a reference in a literacy center.

There are 6 charts total and you can find them all for free here: Digraphs, Blends, and Silent Letter Charts


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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Resource Round-Up: July 9, 2013

Here are two resources that center around technology.

First, we have a great post from Erin Macpherson from We Are Teachers called 16 Apps That Motivate Kids to Read.  I'm familair with a few of the apps mentioned and I'm excited to check out the others.

Second, from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning we have 50 Educators Worth Following in Twitter.  I personally never thought I would use Twitter, but it is an amazing resource for connecting with teachers around the globe.  I have learned more and gained better insights from Twitter chats than from some formal professional development. 

I already followed a few of the people they recommend and now I follow many more.  If you'd like 51 recommendation instead of 50, you can always follow me on Twitter at iHeartLiteracy.  :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Resource Round-Up: July 3, 2013

Both of today's resources come from wwwatanabe:

1) Steps of a Close Read

2) Text-Dependent Questions


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